Florida Football Notebook: Anthony Richardson’s Takeaway Focus on the Gators’ Best Players

image rights: Alex Rodriguez, UAA

Training camp kicked off Tuesday as Florida Gators football begins a new era under coach Billy Napier. The coaching staff and selected players held a hearing with local media this week as the focus shifted from the Offseason program to Phase 6 of Operation Napier with the rules of the game installed for the fifth time before the season.

Improving the Gators’ team discipline has been the primary focus for Napier and his staff during an off-season period, and while Florida has, by all accounts, taken important steps forward in the field, it will now be necessary for players to demonstrate that that translates into their goals. Work ethics in practice.

With four days now into their 22-day pre-season training camp, let’s take a look at where many of the team’s key players stand ahead of the season in which most of what happens will come from the unknown.

QB Anthony Richardson: No player is more integral to Florida’s success on the field in 2022 than the signal’s second caller, who impressed with his spurs last season. Despite Richardson’s flashes of talent and raising his off-season expectations, it should be remembered that he completed only 59.4% of his 529-yard passes, six touchdowns and five interceptions last season. The place he really liked was with his legs where he averaged 7.9 yards per carry while making a 401-yard jump and three touchdowns on the ground. Also a key to contextualizing Richardson’s 2021 play: he was never very healthy.

As such, all we can do is anticipate what Richardson’s play and overall production will look like in 2022. Some have made him among the first-round quarterbacks selected for the 2023 NFL Draft. Others believe he is not among the top four SEC quarterbacks entering the season. Napier said this week that Richardson was trying to keep all expectations off while focusing on the season ahead.

“Part of the job for a player like Anthony…is really not to let some of that noise affect your process in terms of how you prepare, your character, your values, your expectations and your standards,” Napier said on Tuesday. “When your standards and expectations are much higher than anyone on the outside can expect of you, that gives you a chance.

“Anthony is very aware. That’s one of the things I really like about him. He has good awareness, good self-awareness that he is an inexperienced player, he has potential, but he can also improve. There is a lot to learn.”

Napier’s goal for Richardson is to facilitate his role as a leader. As he becomes more comfortable during training camp, we hope he will set an example for the other players on the team – not only in terms of what to do on the field but also how to get rid of him.

“Anthony is focused on work, and there is definitely a lot of work to be done: improving as a leader, growing and maturing as a person – very much in his youth – increasing football intelligence, developing his skills. There are a lot of things he can have,” Napier said. Young man.” “Anthony has a lot of work to do here. He’s totally aware of that, he understands that, he understands those things and he works really hard. His focus is on business, and that’s exactly where he needs to be.”

DL Gervon Dexter Sr: The casual fanfare for Dexter was huge as reports from spring training tied him as one of the standout players not only for his performances on the field through the way he reshaped his body in the weight room. The sophomore spent most of his time inside last season, but appears ready to play more defensively as he excels in blocking attack, with defensive coordinator Patrick Toney aiming to put a lot of pressure on opposing midfielders.

“He’s a real flexible player. … His height would suit the tackles in this league very well. His overall versatility, his basketball background, and his athletic style, which helps him go through the front. You’ll see him playing in a variety of techniques and situations,” said Tony. Throughout the year”.

“He did a really good job embracing that role. And then the thing I respect a lot is that he spends a lot of extra time. Every great player I’ve been around has spent a lot of extra time in the movie room trying to match their craft on the court, and that’s What a really good job he did.”

OL O’Cyrus Torrence: If Dexter is the big man to watch in defense, Torrence has the same rating on the other side of the ball. The transfer of the Louisiana juniors, the 6-foot-4, 347-pound giant, was so impressive for Rajin Cajones that he was a pre-season first-team pick in his first year in the league. (The only Florida attacking player to be selected for any of the three teams.) This is no accident. Just ask Dexter, who has opposed it most in practice up to this point.

“O’Cyrus is a big, big guy, and he can move well. Just the way – his approach. You wouldn’t know you were going to face a pro until you went against O’Cyrus.” Physically, he does all the right things. …when you’re going through a rush against O’Cyrus, you really have to sit back and see what he’s doing because if you just go out and try to speed him up freely, it just won’t work. He was huge, huge – this was a huge gift for Okerus for coming to Florida. He’s a great player.”

Torrence said this week that he actually entered the transfer gate without thinking Florida would be a potential destination because he assumed the Gators were offensively stacked up front. Of course, he was delighted when the coaching staff inquired about his preparedness because he believes his focus on technology sets him apart from others nationally.

Offensive coordinator Rob Sale, the longtime college and NFL offensive line coach who remains in charge of this range of positions in the Gators, clearly feels the same way Dexter feels about Torres — not just as a player but as someone who leads a crucial unit for Florida. .

“Incredible human first, person and character. I specified that when we were there at [Louisiana]. But it’s big, it’s fickle. “Football is easy for Okeros, it really is,” said Sall. “We have a plan and educational progression to get the new students to be able to play early if they are ready, but you have to meet us in the middle. … O’Cyrus missed like the first two series [in the] First match in his freshman year and then he started the rest of his career there and was ready to go. … He will have a lot of success here.”

Stre Dean III: It came as a bit of a surprise when Dean decided to stay in his first season, but the Gators – no more than Tony – were definitely excited to bring back a talent of his caliber. Not only will Dean ensure Florida’s experience at the back end, but his knowledge of his teammates and the program has made him a key player on which the coaching staff can choose his mind as they craft his plans for this season.

“The important thing we’re talking about in the safety position specifically, because that’s my group, we don’t just want to be the most talented player on the field, we want to be the most skilled player on the field,” said Tony. Safety coach. “It means we have a mental checklist when we line up. … I think Trey did a good job of focusing on those areas of his game, and the specifics of becoming the most skilled player on the field. I think you’ll see that translate into the season.”

LBs Ventrell Miller and Amari Burney: A senior in red, Miller may be key to the Gators’ defense this season given his experience and presence on the inside, while there is high expectation that Bernie will become more effective during his first season with the program. “Both of these guys, you can see their veteran leadership on a daily basis. Ventrell is one of the most vocal, if not the most vocal, leaders in defense. Then Bernie does it by example, being a veteran and doing it for a long time. He really is,” said Tony. He treats himself like a professional.

“In terms of development, first of all, you definitely know the difference from Ventrell Miller we have in defence. He does a great job taking charge and making calls and then playing really fast. Bernie has really improved. He’s always been a very good player. Watch Last movie, he did a really good job of being a hybrid player. He’s improved from spring and going into summer playing in the penalty area, playing physically, and really becoming a player at every full back.”

LB Brenton Cox Jr.: Joint Defense Coordinator Sean Spencer, who is also the defensive line coach, expects Cox to continue to improve his game after an impressive second campaign in Florida as he started all 13 games at EDGE, set a program record in a single game with four sacks and finished the season with 8.5 Quarterback removals. “This guy did an incredible job changing his body type. He was a real spring kid. I looked at him, and I said, ‘Wow, he’s really big.’” Spencer said, “He looked like an NFL footballer, but he didn’t. His body really leaned in, slim his size.” “…This guy is a professional in the way he treats himself day in and day out. He will work at his craft. He is constantly changing what he does and evaluating it. So, I’m excited about it.”

DL Tireak Sapp: Having picked up a red jersey in his new season in Florida, Saab looks poised to break up, at least according to Spencer. “He had a spring. Just incredible football, great card play, always a work ethic. He’s a guy I use as an example often in meetings to show them how we want to train,” Spencer said. “He has a great skill set; strong kid. We’re excited about him.”

OL Michael Tarquin: A twinkle in two starting points on the Gators last season, the sky’s the limit for a sophomore Redshirt, according to Seal. “You’re just talking about a guy who handles everything the right way. It doesn’t matter if it’s movie study, pre-qualification, rehab, how you take the field and practice, it’s all 110%,” he said. “…Obviously we expect big things from him this year, but he will answer the bell. He is a lover when it comes to his daily behavior and approach, how he does everything. … I will take 20 Michael Tarquins every day all day.”

DL Desmond Watson: Although he didn’t gain a start last season, Watson played in all 13 games as a reserve and there is still a bit of work in progress. “He’s really convinced to do what he’s supposed to do off the field to get the right to play. And it’s just about conditioning because, if you watch the guy, he can move that big. It’s unbelievable. It’s like a wonder he can move that way,” said Spencer. “…what we are trying to do with Dis is not to make him just a gap-stopping guy. We are trying to make this guy a complete footballer.”

DB Devin Moore: Four-star Moore is expected to compete outside of Napoli, in order to gain significant playing time immediately as the Florida minor undergoes a revamp behind Toni and cornerstone coach Corey Raymond. Tony saw Moore’s potential as soon as she walked out of the gate and thought he’d be a hit with the Gators. “Devin is the first recruit I spoke to when I took this job. He did a really good job, man. He’s very mature for his age. He’s smart. He picks them up fast, very athletic, and tall. He just did a great job in spring soccer, and then Continue that throughout the summer program,” Tony said.

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